Date: 11th December 2015 at 11:06am
Written by:

Report of Meeting between representatives of the Board of Stockport County FC and the Stockport County Supporters Cooperative.
Wednesday 9 December 6 pm in the Boardroom


Present: For the Club Board- Gary Burton, Steve Bellis

For the Supporters Coop Board – Pete Towey, Paul Charnock, Billy Byrne, Ian Brown, John Giles, Damien Beaumont, and John Gaskin by invitation.

On the Field Matters.

The Supporters Coop raised the concerns of supporters as to the dip in performances and results on the field of play, including concerns over the situation regarding release of KD.

In response it was confirmed that whilst the decision to let KD go was the Manager`s, the Manager continued to retain the full confidence of the Club Board, who felt that there was still adequate time to turn the season around.

Playing Budget

In answer to questions on likely playing budget for 2016,it was indicated that the budget would be at least equal to that for the current season.
The 5 Year Plan.

Asked about this, it was confirmed that the 5 Year Plan would be updated in January 2016, giving everyone a clearer picture of how things stood with the Club and what progress has been made since the initial release of this document earlier this year..

Strikers/ Funds

The Supporters Coop asked whether funds would be available in January, should they be needed, to enable the Manager to bring someone in to cover the very obvious need in this area.

In reply it was stated that no extra funds were likely to be available, and the Manager would be expected to work within his budget, a situation that was not without some slack to enable him to manoeuvre. The overriding priority for the Club Board remains that the Club remains viable and stable.

Transition Part/ Full Time.

In reply to a question it was confirmed that the Manager had completed the process of submitting a report/plan on the transitional arrangements likely to be needed in the event of promotion. This will be incorporated in the revised 5 Year Plan.

Fans Forum.

The Clubs ` Nothing but Promotion’ campaign was raised by the Supporters Coop.

This slogan induced great optimism in County supporters who responded by buying ST’s in numbers and putting bums on seats at home and away games. This has now turned to concern that the season was in danger of “petering out” , and supporters need reassurance on where we are heading.

Another show of enthusiastic support such as we had at the beginning of this season, would be difficult to generate again should we still be in our current Division.

Responding to these questions, it was agreed that a Fans Forum be arranged for early in the new year . the middle of January to enable the supporters to question the team management face to face about the on field situation.

Club Chairman.

The Supporters Coop asked why the Club still did not have a Chairman?.a clearly identifiable leader? It was felt that this does not help communications between Club and Supporters.

It was confirmed that RP was very much doing the job of Chairman, but was unwilling to don the title. On communications, it was agreed that the match day programme would be used to impart information that supporters need to know from the Boardroom.

Rather than being confined to the match day programme it was agreed that the boardroom statements would be released after each match on social media sites.

Finance

The Club were asked about projected loss situation.

The projected loss this financial year was circa 97k.In this respect it was confirmed that any losses would continue to be funded by the current active shareholders.
There were no issues preventing the Accounts for the current year being filed/ published.

Loans.

The Supporters Coop raised concerns about outstanding loans.

For their part the Club Board confirmed that they were working to try and reach amicable agreements with the major creditors, with a view to ultimately all loans being cleared from the books. The whole question of Loans would be covered ,in detail, in the updated 5 Year Plan.

Ownership of Edgeley Park by the Supporters Coop

‘Does the club have any objection in principal, to the Co-op owning Edgeley Park?’

The Supporters Coop explained that we had set up the Guardian Account and the purpose was flexible: it could be used for purchasing an asset (Edgeley Park, training ground, etc), buying shares in the club or the account could be used for a phoenix club. We could possibly raise money via a combination of fund raising, events, using a percentage of Co-op membership fees, community shares, etc.

It was also asked if we purchased shares from the Council in 5% increments, would the club object to paying the Co-op rent in 5% increments. The club replied that this would not cause a difficulty and they had no objection in principal to The Co-op owning the ground, as long as the asset was completely secure, and was never borrowed against.

Edgeley Park Rent

The Club were currently endeavouring to negotiate a better deal with the Council. In addition the involvement of the Supporters Coop opened up possibilities in the area of grant availability in the future.

Catering at Edgeley Park

After concerns expressed tonight, and previously in letter form by the Supporters Coop, it was agreed that a meeting be arranged to enable the Supporters Coop to discuss concerns with CGC , the current contractors for C&B.

Stewarding

The Supporters Coop expressed concerns about this issue with particular reference to stewarding at away games where segregation was frequently now in place.
In response it was reported that Stewarding was showing circa 20% saving to budget currently.

In view of the Coop`s concerns however it was agreed that a meeting between the Supporters Coop Board and GT be arranged.

Shareholders Meeting

There were no issues preventing a meeting of shareholders, a response was awaited from Mark L on this issue.

Lottery

The question was asked as to whether the Club was missing a promotional trick or two as far as this potentially lucrative money raiser was concerned.
It was agreed that JG be put in contact with the Lottery organiser.

Food Bank

The Supporters Coop indicated that they wanted to run a Food Bank style collection before the Boxing Day fixture v Harrogate at Edgeley Park.
It was agreed we could set up in the car park, and that 1 car park space would be made available to us. The effort would be in support of the Wellspring.

Room at Edgeley Park.

The Club agreed to investigate providing a secure room for the use of the Supporters Coop, to facilitate storage of materials etc.

Hatters Half Marathon.

Subject to receipt of the final approvals, this highly successful event was due to be staged again on Sunday 4 September 2016.

11 A Side Tournament at Edgeley Park

The feasibility of organising such an effort was discussed. It was agreed that it was theoretically possible, but before any decision is made it was suggested that contact be made with Curzon Ashton to ascertain details of the event they did ( a Kids Tournament) – an all day affair that apparently raised thousands.


The meeting closed at 8.50.


Ian Brown

 

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